Since working with Oddbins (in its old days, not in its current much smaller incarnation) I’ve always had a soft spot for d’Arenberg wines. They were popular in the shop from the basic entry level ones right through to the top of the range Dead Arm. I remember how when the branch in Tunbridge Wells used to get its allocation of Dead Arm, often only half a case, the manager would know exactly who wanted them. He’d call the customers and they would come into the shop pleased to get their hands on at least one bottle.
I also recall the time when working behind the scenes at the International Wine Challenge one of the judges was Chester d’Arenberg Osborn with his trademark loud shirts. You can read about him on their web site.
The chance to catch up with the d’Arenberg wines came my way recently courtesy of d'Arrys Cookhouse and Wine Shop in Cambridge. They describe themselves as a “restaurant and bar in the heart of Cambridge that brings together the best in food and wine within a contemporary yet comfortable atmosphere”. Their wine list covers the full range of d’Arenberg wines at all price points.
Thanks to a fellow wine lover Tom who is the “Cambridge Wine Blogger” they sent me a couple of bottles to sample. The detailed tasting notes for the Unwooded Chardonnay and The High Trellis are up on Adegga so suffice it to say the quality and appeal of the wines haven’t changed since my days in Oddbins. They remain interesting wines and ones that jump out at you from the shelves. The quirky design of the labels catches your eye, the names are intriguingly different and the wines sound appealing given the range of varieties they produce.
It’s good to know on the basis of the tasting of the two above, plus a recent personal tasting of the Viognier, that the quality remains high.